Portuguese Slang, Insults & Swear Words You Might Need to Know

By | Last updated: July 3, 2020

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Do you need to know Portuguese slang or Portuguese swear words? Probably not. Most of them (hopefully) won’t come up in your day-to-day conversations, but you will hear them or see them written down from time to time. 

You’ll hear them in traffic, particularly from taxi drivers. You might even hear them shouted at you. You will also see them written online, particularly in the comments section of Youtube and other questionable places on the internet. 

Some of these terms are politically incorrect, some are insulting, and some are harmless. Rather than try to slip them into conversation, it’s generally best just to know what they mean until you’ve heard them in context a little. 

Fixe

Fixe (pronounced feesh) means cool. 

giro/gira 

Giro or gira, depending on who or what you’re talking about, means pretty or cute. 

Tuga 

Tuga is slang for a Portuguese person (a Portuga). This used to be a derogatory that was mainly used in the former Portuguese African colonies, but is a word that the Portuguese have decided to own.  

Merda

Merda means shit. It’s commonly used in Portugal, and isn’t really considered that offensive. 

Desaparece

Desaparece means get lost (or disappear). 

Táss cuul

Táss cuul means it’s all good. You might also hear táss bem

Caralho

Literally caralho means cock or dick, but it’s often used to mean f*ck instead. Vai pró caralho, for example, literally means go to dick, but probably could translate as get to f*ck. 

Often you’ll see “de caralho” after a word and it’s essentially the same as adding the word f*cking before it. É do caralho, for example, means it’s f*cking hard. You can also say é fodido or é uma foda. Basically, the Portuguese have a lot of expressions for how hard things are.  

Pisso

Pisso is another word for dick. 

Vai mamar na quinta pata do cavalo

Vai mamar na quinta pata do cavalo means go suck on the 5th leg of a horse. It’s pretty self explanatory, I guess. As to whether anyone actually says this, that depends on who you ask. There is a similar expression, vai mamar na cona da tia, which is a lot more offensive but maybe more suitable if there are no horses nearby. 

Cona

Cona is one of several words that means pussy. It’s closer to c*nt than pussy, and so can be seen as quite offensive. There are plenty of other words for pussy like xarocapachaça, and pêssego (peach) that are much less offensive. 

Puta

Puta means whore. 

Filho da puta

Filho de puta means son of a whore or son of a bitch. Anything that insults the mother is taken

Cabrão

Cabrão means asshole or bastard. 

Paneleiro

The English equivalent of paneleiro would be something like fag or queer. It’s not a very nice or politically correct term, but one that you might come across. 

Fodido

Fodido means f*cked, and normally it’s used to say that something is f*cked. It comes from the verb foder, which means to f*ck. 

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31 thoughts on “Portuguese Slang, Insults & Swear Words You Might Need to Know”

  1. Táss cuul, no one uses that in Portugal and you don’t write it like that.
    You would write it like this:
    “Está-se cool” or in slang “tá-se cool”.
    But they would probably say:
    “Está-se fixe” or in slang “tá-se fixe”.

    Pissa or pisso, meaning cock is also not written like that.
    You wrote it like this:
    Piça or piço.

    Reply
  2. My mum is from Madeira and I hear her use ‘caramba’ a lot, I don’t even know if I’ve spelt it right, but I’ve looked it up online and it means damn. I’m still not really sure

    Reply
  3. Having an argument over the Portuguese word pumba, for a lack of better words dose it mean dick or ass?

    Please help me settle this dispute.

    Reply
  4. my mom always used to tell me to “scenta habo” when i was a kid . i think it meant to go warm your ass up by sitting over there. is that right?

    Reply
  5. Hi
    In Brazilian Portuguese, bicha is queer ( homosexual men ). It s not used to insult a woman.
    In Portuguese of Portugal, bicha is queue ( fila ).
    By the way “ pica “ in Portugal is injection ( medicament aplied with a syringe ) and in Brazilian Portuguese is dick..

    Reply
    • I’ve seen it used in the same way in Portugal. I don’t know for sure, but I think the Brazilian meaning is becoming more widespread.

      It can also mean a queue, but I think it’s safer to use the word “fila” because of the double meaning of the word bicha.

      Hopefully a Portuguese person can comment and explain this better?

      Reply
        • I am of Azorean heritage. In the Azores, they speak an “archaic” version of European Portuguese (some might call the dialect trashy), and I grew up in a New England city where a lot of Azorean people immigrated. I grew up thinking “porra” meant “damn” too, until a Portuguese person I worked with got very insulted when I used the word, and later told me it meant “cum”. Another word I grew up with that I don’t see mentioned here was “pumba” which was slang for penis. My grandmother used it a lot when I was a child, kind of like the way you might refer to a child’s penis when speaking to a boy in English as their “wee-wee”. However, kids and teens would use it too, but more along the lines of the equivalent to cock or dick.

          Reply
          • Hey Eric,

            Thanks for sharing! I need to give this list a big update as a lot of people have been sharing new words with me 🙂

            Reply
          • Porra doesn’t mean “cum”, it means Damn.
            Spórra means cum.
            Pumba doesn’t mean penis and sometimes people use it, but rarely.
            Ex: pumba já apanhou no focinho. (pumba he got hit in the face)
            Pumba já caiu das escadas abaixo. (pumba He fell down the stairs)

            Reply

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